Priority 1

Diabetic Kidney Disease

Priority 1 - Diabetic Kidney Disease leadership team:

Professor Richard MacIsaac (endocrinologist)
Professor Alan Cass (nephrologist)
Professor Josephine Forbes (scientist)
Associate Professor Elif Ekinci (endocrinologist)

A third of people with diabetes develop diabetic kidney disease (DKD), the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) requiring dialysis or kidney transplant and a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and premature death.

Current interventions only slow DKD progression and are often ineffective in vulnerable populations, including in Indigenous Australians. National DKD costs are high, with kidney replacement therapy likely increasing year on year due to an aging population and increasing diabetes prevalence in younger age groups.

ACADI will accelerate innovations to improve the lives of people with or at risk of DKD. Our research will focus on the early identification of people at risk for DKD, improvement of DKD diagnosis, prognostication and management. Novel DKD therapies tested will target the key pathogenic factors of hyperglycaemia, inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction.


(1A) Our genetic test identifies people who are at high DKD risk at the time of diabetes diagnosis,  allowing targeted management - Led by Professor Grant Morahan


(1Bi) A new model for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) applying artificial intelligence using machine learning - Led by Associate Professor Elif Ekinci

(1Bii) Evaluating expanded use of a patented prognostic biomarker test, (PromarkerD, Proteomics International), for identifying high-DKD-risk people - Led by Professor Tim Davis


(1C) Using Future Health and Torch Recruit software to identify high-risk patients in primary care who will benefit from renoprotective therapies, provide decision support and identify patients that might be eligible to participate in clinical trials – Led by Associate Professor Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis

New therapies

(1D) Hybrid closed loop to improve glycaemia - Led by Professor David O’Neal

(1F) Targeting mitochondrial dysfunction with a new agent - Led by Professor Josephine Forbes

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